Aside from the Airedale, the look of the Bedlington Terrier sets it far apart from almost any other breed of dog. Many never stop to think how the curly coat has so helpfully served the Bedlington. The breed's distinctive topknot served not only as their most unique feature but also as a deterrent when it came to dealing with rats and other vermin. Once the Bedlington used its speed and quick reflexes to corner their quarry, the paws of the prey gathered in the dog's jaws were likely to get tangled in the hair, keeping the Bedlington's eyes safe from harm.
It is commonly known that the Bedlington Terrier lacks the protein that processes copper in their internal systems. This inability typically has them on low copper diets for their entire lifespan. However, were it not for the Bedlington's contribution scientists would have never had as much luck discovering how red blood cells form in the canine body. Studying copper toxicosis in the Bedlington allowed researchers to understand the function of the liver and mineral absorption in dogs. Now there are a number of chelation medications that can be prescribed to all breeds of dog that may have problems processing copper and other types of necessary nutrients.
The Bedlington gained is name from the mining town in which the lamb-like breed was first developed. While there is some debate as to what dogs were used in its development, it is commonly suspected that the Whippet and Dandie Dinmont are only two out of many likely possibilities. Referred to as the Rothbury Terrier at one time, the town of Bedlington now celebrates the Bedlington Terrier with annual festivals and by even naming local sports teams as the Terriers. The town was overjoyed when the Bedlington won the Westminster in 1948. It was the first time in forty years that this had been accomplished.
Though not a common breed for the average every day individual, the Bedlington Terrier did see a spike in popularity in the 1940's. Owned by the Rockefellers, the breed suddenly became chic and the masses began snapping up all the Bedlingtons they could find. In fact, the Bedlington that won the Westminster was owned by John D. Rockefeller's grand nephew William. The Rockefeller Terriers became celebrities in their own right as they were often seen accompanying their owners nearly everywhere. Boris Karloff also took an interest in the breed, raising them in between movie roles while living in Hollywood. Though they have largely fallen from the public eye, the Bedlington can still be glimpsed in reality TV shows and movie cameos. A Scottish artist by the name of Craigie Aitchison regularly uses his Bedlington Terriers as subjects for his paintings.